The moderation team behind Battlefield 2042's subreddit has warned fans that they will not hesitate to shut down the space for a period of time if the level of toxicity on the feed continues to mount. The announcement comes only a month after the r/Halo subreddit declared its own temporary lockdown following similar toxic behaviour from some members of its community.
As reported by PC Gamer, the warning from the r/Battlefield2042 moderation team seemingly comes after a wealth of angry responses were aimed in backlash to now-deleted tweets posted on Twitter by EA Global Comms Director Andy McNamara.
McNamara's tweets appear to have been made in response to the Battlefield community after it criticized DICE for a lack of communication and further improvements to the game throughout the latter part of December – during a period of vacation for a number of staff at the studio.
"Back to work today, check Reddit & Twitter and Battlefield fans are pissed we didn't do enough updates or communication over the holiday break," said McNamara. "Guys, people gotta rest. We have things in motion but we have to figure out what is possible […] Let us get back from break and get back to work. Love you guys but these expectations are brutal. The things you want take time to scope, design, and execute."
Following McNamara's comments, the thread was posted on the Battlefield 2042 subreddit where anger toward the studio and its employees seemingly accelerated into insults from some parties. This then prompted the moderation team behind the subreddit to get involved, issuing a first warning to those about their actions in the forum.
McNamara has since removed his original tweets from Twitter, instead opting to apologise to fans for not making his message clear enough. This caused a renewed round of angry responses from some.
"The message was clear on launch," writes one fan. "Stop looking for sympathy and start providing solutions. Your idea of we need to work some of those things out shouldn't be hard being half of it was in former games. Keep my $100. Sure it's money lost. But it's $100 knowing to never touch BF again."
Friction between DICE and members of the Battlefield community has been on the rise since the launch of Battlefield 2042. Following a turbulent release riddled with bugs and glitches, as well as a number of overall changes to gameplay within the series, fans of the franchise have been largely critical of the game.
In November, this was reflected in the title's Steam review score, which was inundated with negative reviews, and pushed it onto Steam 250's infamous Hall of Shame. Since then further tensions have grown between DICE and its community over perceived missing features and other factors such as a leaked Santa Claus-themed holiday skin.
While DICE has worked to improve the overall experience for players within Battlefield 2042, there has been genuine criticism and constructive feedback, but a rise in toxic behaviour from the game's fanbase has also been noted.
With tensions continuing to mount between community members and those at the studio, and toxicity continuing in community responses, this week the moderation team for Battlefield's subreddit issued its members a clear-cut ultimatum: ditch the insults, or else the forum could be placed into lockdown. A full statement from the team can be seen below.
The response from the moderation team resembles a similar tone made in a statement by the team behind the r/Halo subreddit last month, which issued a temporary lockdown after the team declared that "toxicity had reached a breaking point and was increasing exponentially." After explaining that behaviour on the sub had "made it impossible for people to have civil discussions", the Halo subreddit closed for a weekend in an attempt to allow tempers to dissipate and people to take a break.
While it's not yet clear whether the Battlefield 2042 subreddit will need to take similar action, here's to hoping that those involved in posting insults and targeted messages of harassment can heed the warning before it's too late.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.